The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Fetid Left-Wing Origins of @chick_in_kiev (Talia Lavin)

Posted on | February 5, 2019 | Comments Off on The Fetid Left-Wing Origins of @chick_in_kiev (Talia Lavin)


You may not remember the name Talia Lavin, but her anti-American prejudices were revealed in June 2018 when she falsely accused an ICE agent of having a neo-Nazi tattoo. It turned out that, in fact, the ICE agent was a Marine veteran who lost both his legs to a Muslim terrorist’s bomb in Afghanistan and that the tattoo Lavin mistook for a Nazi symbol was, in fact, the insignia of his Marine platoon. As a result of her idiotic blunder, Lavin was forced to resign from her job as a “fact-checker” for The New Yorker (while claiming victimhood, of course). Probably no one will be surprised to learn that Ms. Lavin is a Harvard alumna and a militant feminist who in 2014 wrote a Huffington Post column about being the victim of a “sexual assault” during her sophomore year. This wasn’t exactly a horrific trauma — she and some friends “drank heavily,” and she was “stumble-drunk and giggly” when a classmate, who was also drunk (and “totally into me,” she says) attempted to kiss her. That’s pretty much it. The guy was so drunk that the next day, he didn’t even remember what happened, but #MeToo or something. Whatever.


What kind of guy would be “totally into” Talia Lavin? A drunk Harvard guy, allegedly, but I’d rather not think about such pathetic desperation, which is a distraction from Ms. Lavin’s journalism career. After she resigned from the New Yorker, Ms. Lavin was hired by “Media Matters, a left-wing organization funded by socialist billionaire George Soros . . . to cover ‘far-right extremism.’” And it is from her “far-right extremism” beat that she produced her latest paranoid screed for the New Republic:


The Fetid, Right-Wing Origins
of “Learn to Code”

How an online swarm has developed a sophisticated mechanism to harass and gaslight journalists—and to get mainstream media outlets to join in.
February 1, 2019
Last Thursday, I received the news that the HuffPost Opinion section — where I’d been opining on a weekly basis for a few months — had been axed in its entirety. The same opinion column had had a home at The Village Voice for some 21 weeks before that entire publication shuttered as well. “This business sucks,” I tweeted, chagrined at the simple fact that I kept losing my column because of the cruel, ongoing shrinkage of independent journalism in the United States. Dozens of jobs were slashed at HuffPost that day, following a round of layoffs at Gannett Media; further jobs were about to be disappeared at BuzzFeed. It was a grim day for the media, and I just wanted to channel my tiny part of the prevailing gloom.
Then the responses started rolling in—some sympathy from fellow journalists and readers, then an irritating gush of near-identical responses: “Learn to code.” “Maybe learn to code?” “BETTER LEARN TO CODE THEN.” “Learn to code you useless bitch.” Alongside these tweets were others: “Stop writing fake news and crap.” “MAGA.” “Your opinions suck and no one wants to read them.” “Lmao journalists are evil wicked cretins. I wish you were all jail [sic] and afraid.”
I looked at the mentions of my editors, who had been laid off after years at HuffPost, and of other journalists who had lost their jobs. There they were, the swarm of commentators, with their same little carbuncular message: “Learn to code.” . . .

Now, before we go wading into the, uh, fetid swamps of left-wing conspiracy theory where Ms. Lavin is leading us, permit me to remind readers that I wrote a lengthy post (“‘Learn to Code’ and the Collapse of the Millennial SJW Clickbait Bubble,” Jan. 25) about this meme. As has been pointed out, critics of the media began using this phrase to mock laid-off journalists because the media themselves used “learn to code” as advice to coal miners and other working-class people who lost their jobs as a result of Obama’s economic policies. All of which is make the point that the conspiracy theory Talia Lavin is about to lay on you is both (a) false and (b) an irrelevant distraction from the really important question: Why is the media so hated that everybody celebrates when journalists get laid off? But please, continue, Ms. Lavin:

But it was clear from the outset that this “advice” was larded through with real hostility — and the timing and ubiquity of the same phrase made me immediately suspect a brigade attack. My suspicions were confirmed when conservative figures like Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump Jr. joined the pile-on, revealing the ways in which right-wing hordes have harnessed social media to discredit and harass their opponents.
What’s a brigade attack, you may ask? It’s a rather dramatic name for coordinated harassment, usually migrating from one social media site to another. Often hatched in the internet’s right-wing cesspools, these campaigns unleash a mass of harassment on unsuspecting targets. 4chan’s /pol/ board — a gathering-place for people who want to say the n-word freely, vilify feminists, and opine on nefarious Jewish influence — has an oversize role in organizing brigade attacks, in part due to the fact that all its users are anonymous.
While it’s difficult to trace the origins of brigading — like most of internet history, its beginnings are ephemeral — the term, and its tactics, came to new prominence during the loosely organized and militantly misogynist harassment campaign known now as GamerGate, which unfolded over the course of 2014 and 2015. . . .

Oh, dear God, #GamerGate! In case you’ve forgotten, that drama began with Zoe Quinn, a tattoo-covered, mentally ill ex-stripper whose real name is Chelsea Van Valkenburg, who was accused of trading sex to journalists for favorable coverage of her wretched game “Depression Quest.” What the participants in #GamerGate sought to do was to expose how feminists and other so-called “social justice warriors” (SJWs) were trying to gain control of the billion-dollar videogame industry by shady manipulative methods. Predictably, SJWs were able to recruit dishonest journalists to attack #GamerGate by portraying it as a “misogynistic harassment campaign,” of which Zoe Quinn and other no-talent losers claimed to be victims. The truth, however, was quite different:

Zoe Quinn is not an innocent victim of “harassment.” She deserves everything bad anyone might ever say about her. . . .
As Ethan Ralph says, Zoe Quinn is a fraud, who couldn’t program her way out of a wet paper sack, and whose status as a “game developer” is as fictional as the “blame-the-patriarchy” narrative she has created to depict herself as a saintly martyr for the feminist cause.

As for “brigading” as a tactic, it is more or less exclusive to Twitter, which did not exist before 2006 and did not become widely used until 2008. It was not until 2014, when the Left began complaining of “harassment” on Twitter, that I ever heard this swarming effect of hostile replies called “brigading,” although I myself had been targeted for orchestrated harassment on Twitter in 2012 after I started reporting on the Brett Kimberlin saga. Of course, nobody in the media notices harassment when the Left is attacking conservatives, so it’s as if that never happened, so far as liberals like Talia Lavin are concerned. (I was the intended target of a SWATting, and the guy responsible was sentenced to federal prison.)

Liberals consider it “hate” if you disagree with them, and it’s “harassment” if you criticize them, and yet Talia Lavin doesn’t seem to understand that the media’s blatant attempt to silence their critics might have something to do with why everybody hates journalists:

GamerGate was essentially a public test of weapons online trolls would use to inflict hell on anyone who they perceived as enemies, with a central focus on journalists. Its tactics have only grown in sophistication in the intervening years. . . .
When I smelled the putrid odor of a brigade attack, I decided to do a little research into the origins of this sudden, and plainly coordinated, bombardment of “learn to code” tweets. (There were also death threats and a flood of anti-Semitic Instagram comments.) It was a fairly simple operation: I clicked over to 4chan’s /pol/ board and searched for the phrase.
In a thread entitled “HAPPENING – Huffpo / Buzzfeed / other MSM garbage (((journalists))) FIRED,” which discussed the extant and impending layoffs, there were dozens of responses laying out the “learn to code” plan. . . .
Tucker Carlson, Fox News’s most openly white-supremacist host and a frequent amplifier of far-right meme warfare, ran a segment about the trolling campaign for his roughly three million viewers. . . .
For me, the open hostility of “learn to code” was, from the first moment, compounded by escalating misogyny and anti-Semitism . . . .
The experience of the “learn to code” campaign was being bombarded with harassment that others stridently claimed wasn’t harassment; being told death threats were a joke; having my name broadcast mockingly on Fox News — all for the temerity of tweeting about losing a column. It was an experience of being mugged by gaslight.

Here’s a suggestion for Ms. Lavin that I’m sure she will ignore: Maybe consider the possibility that the reason people hate you is . . . you.


And this applies more or less equally to everyone who got laid off at BuzzFeed and HuffPo, especially including Chloe Angyal, who boasted of imposing quotas to discriminate against white males at HuffPo. While she was busy preventing white men from publishing opinions at HuffPo, what sort of columns did Chloe Angyal pay for?

If Democrats Want To Win, They Need
To Embrace The Power Of Rage

Talia Lavin, Jan. 1

I Want A Woman President.
I’m Not Afraid to Say So Anymore.

Talia Lavin, Jan. 6

Tax The Rich, Then Tax Them Some More
Talia Lavin, Jan. 12

If You Think Trans Rights Are A Distraction, You’re Part Of The Problem
Talia Lavin, Jan. 22

Real thought-provoking stuff, eh? Ms. Lavin’s dumbed-down partisan drivel served no useful purpose, and nobody will miss her weekly columns at HuffPo, which was only published to inflate the numbers for Chloe Angyal’s “diversity” quotas. Now she’s peddling paranoia at The New Republic, trying to convince her fellow dimwits that a bunch of guys on 4chan who “say the n-word freely, vilify feminists, and opine on nefarious Jewish influence” are a menace to democracy or something.

And look at what results Ms. Lavin produces:


Yes, Ben Popken of NBC News is encouraging journalists to report any account that tweets “learn to code” at them. Stephen Green quips:

You know, this little snitch is probably patting himself on the back and thinking, “Not all heroes wear capes.”

They are trying to ban Republicans from using the Internet at all — that’s the real bottom line of all this. Journalists are now partisan operatives for the Democrat Party, and consider it part of their job to smear anyone who disagrees with them as a right-wing “white supremacist.”

And they wonder why we hate them . . .



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